This Just In: Week 33 Edition

This has not been photoshopped. This is an actual celebration by the Whitecaps at CenturyLink field. I still can't believe it, either. - Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

In the world of professional sports, we see no shortage of well-written, well-researched articles that delve into the stories surrounding our favourite teams. The unfortunate side effect? Fake stories go begging, unnoticed and forgotten. In an attempt to reverse this shocking trend, Eighty Six Forever is proud to present a selection of stories that are completely, totally, absolutely false. Enjoy.

Breaking Down Nigel Reo-Coker's Goal Celebration

Since his arrival in MLS, Nigel Reo-Coker has treated fans to solid midfield displays full of created chances and positive possession at both ends of the park. The occasional highlight-reel tackle hasn't hurt, either. Despite all this production, what Vancouver Whitecaps fans haven't been able to witness is a goal off Reo-Coker's boots. That all changed during Wednesday's surreal domination of the Seattle Sounders, where Reo-Coker capped off the evening's scoring by putting a ball in the general vicinity of Michael Gspurning and waiting for the inevitable to happen:

Good grief, what was that nonsense? No, not the goal - that was vintage Gaffespurning, easily explained - I mean the mish-mash of human contortion that followed. Now, I'm no professional goal-scorer or goal-celebrator or athlete, but I do know painfully awkward victory dances when I see them. Clearly, with no frequency of goals to remind him how to celebrate, Reo-Coker went with whatever his first impulses were. As we see above, they were not good impulses. What were they, exactly? Let's break it down:

  • First, Reo-Coker pops up to his feet after a tackle from Osvaldo Alonso. Pretty standard; "knock me down, I score on you, I pop up because that's how I roll."
  • Then, he follows up with a pseudo-military march-strut that one assumes is meant to convey some sort of authority. As in, "this is my net, maggots, and you will allow me to run up and score on it!" While unorthodox, the celebration still seems to be in order...
  • ...until Reo-Coker drops his head and continues the march with more gusto. At this point, any seasoned celebration analyst (or "celebryst") knows something has gone wrong. Out of ideas, Reo-Coker has gone for a minor variation on the existing theme. Not good. His best bet now is to end the whole thing before it goes off the rails.
  • Aaaaand we're off the rails. Two simultaneous impulses - "thumbs to my name" and "kiss the biceps", two valid options - converge and mutate, resulting in a bizarre kissing of the fists while half-thumbing. It's all gone pear-shaped at this point; any celebryst will tell you that the only mercy from here on out is to kill the celebration.
  • No mercy in Seattle tonight, apparently. Still strutting, Reo-Coker busts out a "flex my guns" but botches the delivery, looking more like a six-year-old posing in the mirror than a 29-year-old footballer. For goodness' sake, someone get the man some lucky rocketship underpants and end this travesty!
  • Nope. As celebrysts around the globe continue to gaze on in horror, Reo-Coker finishes with a transition into the "wave 'em around like you just don't care". The away support section, thankfully, is already uproariously waving everything that isn't nailed down and are too giddy with victory to care or even truly comprehend what has taken place in front of them. I didn't think anything could top Eric Hassli's infamous celebration but here we are. Bravo(?) to you, Mr. Reo-Coker. Please never do that again.

Somehow, Jordan Harvey is Nominated for Player of the Year

So, who would you say has been the Whitecaps' best player this year? Is it one of the five nominees for Whitecaps Player of the Year, who you can now vote for online? I certainly hope so - and so does Jordan Harvey, who is one of the five nominees. Yes, that's right - Jordan Harvey, the most adventurous left-back to ever decide that the "defending" part of his defensive game is optional, is up for the award alongside Camilo Sanvezzo, Nigel Reo-Coker, Kenny Miller and Russell Teibert. While that may, at first glance, seem like a classic case of "One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other", the 'Caps technical staff and media were quick to heap praise on Harvey.

"I can't imagine what our backline would look like without Jordan Harvey," said assistant coach Paul Ritchie. "Jordan provides us with so many options both offensively and in transition from a botched offensive run. Whenever I see him sprinting like mad to track back or trying to remember where the left-back position is, I know I'm about to see something special. It's comforting, really." Assistant coach Carl Robinson agreed. "How many goals does he have? Four? That's fantastic; you can't replace that kind of quality. Harvey deserves every bit of that nomination. Personally, I can't even remember who used to play in that spot or anything he did while there."

Added goalkeeper coach Marius Røvde, "It should be obvious that Harvey earned his nomination through a career year and not by kidnapping my children. Or Paul's children. Or Carl's children. Or Martin's children. There are absolutely no shenanigans of an illegal nature going on and certainly no exorbitant ransoms that will require extensive therapy to get past. Vote Harvey! Please. Please."

Reminder: The Playoff Dream is Nearly Extinct

While I'm sure everyone is still dancing over that 4-1 result in Seattle, it is my solemn duty to remind you that anything less than a win still ends the Whitecaps' playoff dream. It's a sober reality to take in, knowing a season's extinction is imminent, which is why we've been introducing you to other nearly extinct creatures over the last few weeks to provide you with a de facto support group. Continuing that trend, this week's critically endangered animal is the Benton cave crayfish:

This small white creature is found in four caves in northern Arkansas. At a mere 48mm long, the biggest threat to its survival is accidentally being trampled by spelunkers. In other words, much like the Whitecaps' season, all it takes is a careless boot to snuff things out - an experience Carlyle Mitchell is all-too-familiar with.

~

Rituro is a freelance nerd, sports fan and avid gamer. Feel free to throw a tweet his way and follow @ThatRituroGuy.

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